Afghanistan Promises to Fight Corruption as Donors Pledge Billions

TOKYO — Senior officials from the international community are pledging billions of dollars more in civil aid for Afghanistan amid concerns terrorism and corruption still threaten progress made in the country during the past decade.

Afghanistan is receiving $16 billion in additional pledges of development aid for the next four years.  But there will be more strings attached to the new assistance.

At a conference in Tokyo Sunday, donor nations and organizations reached agreement with Afghanistan on a framework for accountability.  Some money will be withheld if the country cannot meet benchmarks for improving governance and finance management, as well as safeguarding the democratic process, the rule of law, and human rights, including those of women and girls.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is promising donors a vigorous fight against corruption.

Some critics contend much of the $60 billion of aid from the international community since the Taliban was ousted by the U.S.
military more than a decade ago, has been squandered.

There has been notable progress, Afghanistan’s per-capita gross domestic product of nearly $600 is five times higher than it was a decade ago.

Karzai, noting the successes, also acknowledges his country remains a dangerous place.

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